Quick Reads

The best and worst players of the week according to Football Outsiders stats.

Week 12 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei

Statistically speaking, the most notable play of Sunday's Cardinals-Chargers game came with 6:04 remaining in the third quarter. Los Angeles quarterback Philip Rivers play-faked to Austin Ekeler, who then leaked through the offensive line to the middle of the field. Meanwhile, Arizona defensive end Zach Moore bull-rushed left guard Dan Feeney. In an attempt to ward Moore off, Feeney inadvertently threw the pass-rusher directly into Rivers' feet. With his balance thrown off, Rivers attempted to dump the ball off to Ekeler, but the throw was inaccurate and too far behind the running back for a reception.

What's so notable about that play? It was the first incompletion of the day for Rivers, ending a streak of 25 consecutive passes, the all-time record for a single game. It was also the only incompletion of the day for Rivers -- he would complete three more passes for 35 more yards, setting up Ekeler for a 2-yard touchdown run, then head to the bench with a comfortable 42-10 lead.

Rivers finished with 28 completions in 29 attempts, a completion rate of 96.6 percent, also a single-game NFL record. He added three touchdowns with (obviously) no interceptions. And for this nearly flawless performance, he is just the sixth-ranked quarterback of the week. And it's not because he left the game early -- even if we threw out the fourth quarters and overtime this week, Rivers would still be a good deal behind Baker Mayfield and Kirk Cousins.

Rivers' surprisingly low ranking isn't that surprising when you consider what happened when he didn't pass the ball -- he was sacked four times, fumbling once. That'll knock anyone's value down by quite a bit. Take everyone's sacks away, and Rivers finds himself on top of the heap. Further, for all those completions, Rivers only accumulated 259 yards. That's 8.9 yards per attempt, which is not in the top five quarterbacks of Week 12, and 9.3 yards per completion, which is in the bottom five.

According to Pro Football Reference, this was the 26th time since 1950 that a quarterback has completed at least 85 percent of at least 20 passes in a single game, but averaged less than 10 yards per pass.

20 Passes, 85% Completion Rate, Less than 10 Yards/Pass, 1950-2018
Player Team Year Wk CP/AT Cmp% Yds Y/A TD Int Sacks Pass
DYAR
Opp
John Brodie SF 1968 3 17/20 85.0% 191 9.6 3 1 0 -- ATL
Steve DeBerg TB 1984 7 25/29 86.2% 272 9.4 1 0 1 -- DET
Bobby Hebert NO 1988 12 20/23 87.0% 194 8.4 3 0 1 188 DEN
Jeff Hostetler LARD 1993 1 23/27 85.2% 225 8.3 1 1 1 120 MIN
Vinny Testaverde CLE 1993 17 21/23 91.3% 216 9.4 2 0 1 149 LARM
Rich Gannon OAK 2002 10 34/38 89.5% 352 9.3 3 0 1 261 DEN
Patrick Ramsey WAS 2004 13 19/22 86.4% 174 7.9 3 0 1 145 NYG
Drew Brees SD 2005 3 19/22 86.4% 191 8.7 2 0 0 145 NYG
Mark Brunell WAS 2006 3 24/27 88.9% 261 9.7 1 0 0 129 HOU
Jake Delhomme CAR 2006 17 23/27 85.2% 207 7.7 2 0 0 166 NO
Ben Roethlisberger PIT 2007 12 18/21 85.7% 165 7.9 0 1 5 70 MIA
Kurt Warner ARI 2009 2 24/26 92.3% 243 9.3 2 0 0 151 JAX
Brett Favre MIN 2009 2 23/27 85.2% 155 5.7 2 0 3 25 DET
Brett Favre MIN 2009 11 22/25 88.0% 213 8.5 4 0 2 140 SEA
Drew Brees NO 2009 16 32/37 86.5% 258 7.0 1 0 1 106 TB
Matt Ryan ATL 2010 12 24/28 85.7% 197 7.0 1 0 2 110 GB
Drew Brees NO 2011 7 31/35 88.6% 325 9.3 5 0 2 199 IND
Peyton Manning DEN 2013 17 25/28 89.3% 266 9.5 4 0 1 208 OAK
Austin Davis STL 2014 7 17/20 85.0% 155 7.8 2 0 0 133 SEA
Alex Smith KC 2014 8 25/29 86.2% 223 7.7 0 0 2 67 STL
Kirk Cousins WAS 2015 2 23/27 85.2% 203 7.5 1 0 2 100 STL
Dak Prescott DAL 2016 15 32/36 88.9% 279 7.8 0 0 3 97 TB
Landry Jones PIT 2017 17 23/27 85.2% 239 8.9 1 1 3 -45 CLE
Philip Rivers LAC 2018 2 23/27 85.2% 256 9.5 3 0 2 200 BUF
Derek Carr OAK 2018 2 29/32 90.6% 288 9.0 1 0 1 186 DEN
Philip Rivers LAC 2018 12 28/29 96.6% 259 8.9 3 0 4 136 ARI

As you might expect, games like this were once unheard of, but have become much more frequent in recent seasons. From 1950 to 1983 it happened just one time, when San Francisco's John Brodie completed 17 of 20 passes for 191 yards and three touchdowns in a 28-13 win over Atlanta in 1968. That was an exciting year for the 49ers passing attack -- Brodie led the NFL in passes, completions, yards, and interceptions. His top target, Clifton McNeil, was tops in the league with 71 catches. McNeil had five catches for 69 yards and a touchdown against the Falcons. With seven catches for just 50 yards, Brodie's top receiver that day was Dick Witcher, who was apparently an actual football player and not the lead role in a Halloween-themed naughty movie.

After Brodie's little big day, there were two more such games in the 1980s, then two more in the 1990s (both in 1993, oddly enough). And then the NFL changed. There were 10 in the 2000s, with four in 2009 alone. Rivers' game against Arizona makes it three so far in 2018, and 11 and counting in the 2010s. That's partly due to changes in league rules and environments. It may also be due to a shift in strategy -- teams may be altering their game plans to shoot for more high-efficiency, low-production attacks because it seems to win a lot of games. The quarterbacks in that table had a combined record of 23-3, with the three losses coming by a total of 10 points:

  • In 1984, Steve DeBerg and the Tampa Bay Buccaneers lost to the Detroit Lions 13-7. The Bucs lost three fumbles that day, and also missed a field goal.
  • A quarter-century later, the Buccaneers struck again, beating Drew Brees and the New Orleans Saints 20-17. New Orleans was undone by special teams-- Garrett Hartley missed a field goal, while Tampa Bay's Micheal Spurlock had a 77-yard punt return touchdown in the fourth quarter to force overtime, where Connor Barth hit a 47-yard game-winning kick.
  • Finally, way back in Week 2 of this year, Derek Carr and the Oakland Raiders fell to the Denver Broncos, 20-19. Carr's touchdown pass to Seth Roberts put Oakland up 19-7 with about 20 minutes left in the game, but Denver rallied with three straight scoring drives to win. Only three of Carr's passes were incomplete, but one of those was huge, a failed play on fourth-and-1 on the edge of field goal range in the middle of Denver's comeback. Like the Bucs and Saints before them, the Raiders also missed a kick for points -- in this case an extra point by Mike Nugent in the first half.

These extreme dink-and-dunk affairs have often led to wins, but you won't find any of them at the top of our list of all-time great games. The best, by passing DYAR only, was Rich Gannon's 261-DYAR day against Denver in 2002. Remember that DYAR is a counting stat, and Gannon's 34 completions, 38 attempts and 352 yards are all the highest totals in our table. He was also sacked only once, and did not throw an interception. Only two other passers here have hit even 200 DYAR: Peyton Manning in 2013, and Rivers this year -- but for his Week 2 game against the Bills, not what he did against the Cardinals. That Buffalo game is right at 200 DYAR and could fall below that threshold as opponent adjustments and league baselines fluctuate. It was helped out by opponent adjustments (the Bills led the league in pass defense DVOA coming into Week 12) and red zone performance (Rivers' three touchdowns that day gained a total of 21 yards). The average DYAR for games we have analyzed in this table is 133, which is good, but nothing special. Landry Jones actually finished below replacement level because the Browns were 26th in pass defense last year, and because he fumbled on one of his three sacks.

Rivers is the first quarterback since Brett Favre in 2009 to produce two games with an 85 percent completion rate and less than 10 yards per pass. Drew Brees -- who had one qualifying game each year in 2005, 2009, and 2011 -- is the only player to ever do it three times. On the franchise level, New Orleans and Washington are the only teams to put three games in our table, while the Broncos are the only defense to allow three.

Quarterbacks
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
1.
Baker Mayfield CLE
19/26
258
4
0
0
180
193
-13
CIN
In Weeks 9, 10, and 12 -- the three weeks in which the Browns have played games since Hue Jackson was fired (they had a bye in Week 11) -- Mayfield completed 73.9 percent of his passes for 8.8 yards per pass with nine touchdowns, one interception, and only two sacks. He has 409 DYAR in those three weeks, second only to Drew Brees. This weekend, he was nearly perfect on Cincinnati's side of the field, going 12-of-13 for 154 yards and eight first downs, including four touchdowns.
2.
Kirk Cousins MIN
29/37
342
3
0
2
159
162
-3
GB
Throwing to his right, Cousins went 15-of-17 for 195 yards and 11 first downs, including a touchdown.
3.
Russell Wilson SEA
22/30
339
2
0
2
146
142
4
CAR
Wilson didn't always convert on third or fourth downs, but when he did, he got a big play out of it. He went 6-of-10 with a sack, but each of those six completions picked up a conversion, for a total of 184 yards and a touchdown.
4.
Jameis Winston TB
29/38
312
2
0
1
143
144
-1
SF
Winston now has 79 career touchdown passes; Josh Freeman holds the Tampa Bay franchise record with 80. Against San Francisco, Winston spent most of his day completing short throws. On passes to receivers within 10 yards of the line of scrimmage, he went 23-of-24 for 169 yards and nine first downs, including a touchdown.
5.
Cam Newton CAR
25/30
256
2
1
0
136
134
2
SEA
Throwing to his tight ends, Newton went 2-for-5 for 11 yards with no first downs and one interception.
6.
Philip Rivers LAC
28/29
259
3
0
4
130
135
-5
ARI
Rivers completed each of the 14 passes he threw to his wide receivers for 144 yards and 11 first downs, including three touchdowns.
7.
Tom Brady NE
20/31
283
2
0
0
127
127
0
NYJ
Brady had two longer touchdowns -- which is good, because he had a bad day in the red zone: 1-of-6 for 16 yards and one first down.
8.
Deshaun Watson HOU
19/23
210
2
0
4
92
77
15
TEN
9.
Marcus Mariota TEN
22/23
303
2
0
6
90
90
1
HOU
10.
Andrew Luck IND
30/37
343
3
2
1
81
78
3
MIA
Luck threw seven deep balls against Miami, completing as many to his own team (two, for 58 yards) as he did to the Dolphins (both interceptions by Xavien Howard on back-to-back throws at the end of the second quarter). I'll save you the math: that means he went 28-of-30 on short passes, for 285 yards.
11.
Ben Roethlisberger PIT
41/56
462
1
2
2
76
67
9
DEN
Roethlisberger gains 62 DYAR after opponent adjustments, most of any quarterback this week. Red zone passing: 2-of-6 for 10 yards with no first downs and an interception. There's some overlap here, but with 3 yards or less to go for a first down, Roethlisberger went 4-of-9 for 48 yards and three conversions and two interceptions -- plus, one of those completions was fumbled away. That's not Roethlisberger's fault, obviously, but it shows the kind of problems Pittsburgh had in short yardage.
12.
Case Keenum DEN
15/28
197
2
0
2
75
75
0
PIT
On Pittsburgh's side of the field, Keenum went 10-of-12 for 139 yards and eight first downs, including two touchdowns.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
13.
Carson Wentz PHI
20/28
236
1
0
3
59
66
-7
NYG
Wentz was pretty good at either end of the field, but not so much in the middle. Between the 40s, he went 7-of-13 for 52 yards and just one first down, with a DPI for 13 more yards and two sacks.
14.
Drew Brees NO
15/22
171
4
1
1
54
54
0
ATL
How does a guy with four touchdown passes end up way down here? Short-yardage struggles. On third down with 4 yards or less to go, Brees went 0-for-4 with an interception. Those are almost like turnovers. Well, one of them actually WAS a turnover, but you know what I mean. The good news for Brees is that with Kansas City on a bye, he has passed Patrick Mahomes for the season lead in both DYAR and DVOA.
15.
Josh Allen BUF
8/19
160
1
0
0
53
43
11
JAX
Thanks to this success and the struggles of another rookie called "Josh," Allen is now second-to-last in DYAR this season. One more game like this and he'll pass former teammate Nathan Peterman for third-to-last. Almost all of his good passes against Jacksonville came on first down -- on third downs, he went 2-of-7 for 11 yards with just one conversion. He only had two throws on second down, both incomplete.
16.
Jeff Driskel CIN
17/29
155
1
0
1
47
45
2
CLE
Your new Bengals starter came into the game with a 28-point deficit and closed it to 15 points. So that's something. His best throws came up the middle, where he went 6-for-6 for 87 yards and four first downs, including a touchdown.
17.
Aaron Rodgers GB
17/28
198
1
0
4
45
45
0
MIN
Third-down passing: 1-of-5 with three sacks. Well, that one completion did gain 36 yards on third-and-10. So that was good.
18.
Eli Manning NYG
26/37
297
1
1
2
43
43
0
PHI
Inside the Philadelphia 40, Manning went 4-of-9 for 24 yards with one conversion (a 13-yard touchdown to Saquon Barkley) and one interception. His last pass of the first half was intercepted, and then in the second half, he went 7-of-12 for 61 yards with as many first downs (two) as sacks.
19.
Dak Prescott DAL
22/31
289
2
0
4
42
49
-7
WAS
Prescott had -67 DYAR on passes and sacks if you take away throws to Amari Cooper (more on him later). On throws to other players, Prescott went 14-of-22 for 109 yards and only four first downs.
20.
Andy Dalton CIN
10/17
100
1
1
0
37
27
9
CLE
If it's any consolation for Dalton, his last pass of the 2018 season was a touchdown to third-and-goal from the 2 to John Ross. Throwing to his tight ends, he went 3-of-6 for 25 yards and no first downs.
21.
Ryan Tannehill MIA
17/25
204
2
0
1
15
9
6
IND
With 10 yards or more to go for a first down, Tannehill went 11-of-16 for only 50 yards and two first downs. A 17th throw resulted in 7 yards and a DPI.
22.
Derek Carr OAK
16/34
194
1
0
3
-22
-22
0
BAL
With six minutes and change to go, the Raiders had a fourth-and-8 at their own 38, down by 10. Certainly not a good scenario, but not impossible to overcome. From that point forward, Carr went: sack, fumble, returned for a touchdown; sack; sack; 8-yard gain on third-and-22. Those four plays knocked him down about a dozen spots in the DYAR rankings. Throwing to his left, he went 4-of-9 for 17 yards and one first down.
Rk
Player
Team
CP/AT
Yds
TD
INT
Sacks
Total
DYAR
Pass
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Opp
23.
Josh McCown NYJ
26/44
276
1
1
2
-25
-34
9
NE
McCown only threw for three first downs on New England's side of the field. Once crossing the 50, he went 7-of-20 for 45 yards with one touchdown, one interception, and one sack.
24.
Chase Daniel CHI
27/37
230
2
0
4
-26
-22
-5
DET
Daniel loses 60 DYAR after opponent adjustments, most of any quarterback this week. Nine of Daniels' 13 first downs came on throws to the short right area of the field, where he went 15-of-17 for 111 yards.
25.
Matthew Stafford DET
28/38
236
0
2
2
-60
-60
0
CHI
For all his trouble against Chicago, Stafford was very good in short yardage. With 3 yards or less to go for a first down, he went 7-of-9 for 99 yards with seven conversions and one sack.
26.
Blake Bortles JAX
12/23
127
1
2
3
-61
-71
10
BUF
On third downs, Bortles went 2-of-5 for 25 yards with two sacks and just one conversion -- which came with Jacksonville trailing by 10 points with less than three minutes to go. He was actuallly good in scoring range, but dreadful outside of it. On his side of the Buffalo 40, he went 8-of-19 for 67 yards with two first downs, two interceptions, and a sack. Throwing to his right, he went 4-of-9 for 17 yards and no first downs.
27.
Matt Ryan ATL
35/47
377
2
1
6
-64
-76
11
NO
Ryan became the sixth quarterback with three fumbles in a game this season. Two of his receivers also fumbled after catches, and all five of those fumbles occurred inside the New Orleans 40. On throws to his right, he went 8-of-14 for 39 yards and only two first downs.
28.
Lamar Jackson BAL
14/25
178
1
2
1
-78
-82
3
OAK
On Oakland's side of the 50, Jackson went 7-of-14 for 33 yards and three first downs, with one touchdown, no 10-yard gains, and one interception.
29.
Josh Rosen ARI
12/19
105
1
1
2
-88
-88
0
LAC
Your new leader for worst passing DYAR of 2018. Things went fine enough on Arizona's first two drives against the Chargers, which resulted in a touchdown and a field goal. But then Rosen failed to throw for a first down for the rest of the game. On Arizona's last nine drives, Rosen went 6-of-11 for 26 yards with zero 10-yard gains, an interception, two sacks, and an aborted snap. On third and fourth downs, he went 3-of-7 for 15 yards with more sacks (two) than conversions (one).
30.
Colt McCoy WAS
24/38
268
2
3
3
-124
-133
8
DAL
McCoy had an absolutely brutal day in short yardage. With 5 yards or less to go for a first down, he went 4-of-9 for 28 yards with three conversions, three interceptions, and a sack-fumble. Throwing to his wide receivers, he went 11-of-21 for 92 yards with five first downs and three interceptions.
31.
Nick Mullens SF
18/32
221
1
2
4
-133
-121
-12
TB
Mullens takes one of the biggest hits due to opponent adjustments of any quarterback this week. The Buccaneers defense had just one interception coming into this game, and none since Week 3; Mullens threw two in the last eight minutes of this game. Both came inside the Tampa Bay 40-yard line. He only completed one of his five third-down throws, and that one completion was an 8-yard gain on third-and-26. He did convert one third down with a 5-yard DPI on third-and-9.


Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
LeGarrette Blount DET
19
88
2
1/1
15
0
69
60
9
CHI
Hey kids, remember last week when we talked about how Chicago's run defense was so good, it was totally skewing opponent adjustments this season? Blount's DYAR more than doubled due to playing the Bears. Blount's 27-yard gain in the fourth quarter was the second-longest run allowed by Chicago this year. He had four first downs on the ground. The only player with more than that in a game against the Bears this year was -- I swear this is true -- Nathan Peterman. And Blount had two rushing touchdowns against a defense that had only given up two in its first ten games.
2.
Leonard Fournette JAX
18
95
3
3/3
13
0
45
50
-6
BUF
Each of Fournette's six first downs on the ground came in the second quarter, when he gained 62 yards and scored three times on eight carries. All told, he had three gains for double-digit yardage and only two stuffs. Imagine if he hadn't been ejected with a whole quarter to go.
3.
Austin Ekeler LAC
5
35
1
10/11
68
0
40
26
14
ARI
Each of Ekeler's runs gained at least 2 yards, with a goal-line touchdown and a 13-yard gain on fourth-and-1. Four of his catches gained first downs and three of those gained 10 yards or more. He was so effective he qualified for this table despite being the target on a botched trick play that left him with a catch for a 10-yard loss on on first-and-10.
4.
Phillip Lindsay DEN
14
110
1
0/0
0
0
38
38
0
PIT
Each of Lindsay's 14 carries gained at least 1 yard. He had four first downs and four runs of 10 yards or more, the longest a 32-yarder.
5.
Doug Martin OAK
11
51
1
3/4
21
0
38
23
15
BAL
Martin's another beneficiary of opponent adjustments, which nearly doubled his DYAR. He had two runs of 10 yards or more, plus a 1-yard touchdown on third-and-goal, while being stuffed twice. Two of his catches also produced first downs.


Five Best Running Backs by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
LeGarrette Blount DET
19
88
2
1/1
15
0
69
60
9
CHI
2.
Leonard Fournette JAX
18
95
3
3/3
13
0
45
50
-6
BUF
3.
Melvin Gordon LAC
10
61
2
2/2
5
0
33
39
-6
ARI
Gordon's two rushing touchdowns covered 28 and 5 yards, and he had three other first downs on the ground, while being stuffed one time.
4.
Aaron Jones GB
17
72
1
3/5
21
0
28
39
-11
MIN
Blah blah blah OPPONENT ADJUSTMENTS blah blah blah blah blah. Actually, this is interesting -- Jones loses 11 DYAR receiving, but gains 21 DYAR rushing for playing the Vikings. His longest carry gained just 11 yards, but he had five first downs on the ground and was stuffed just once.
5.
Phillip Lindsay DEN
14
110
1
0/0
0
0
38
38
0
PIT


Worst Running Back by DYAR (Total)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Jordan Howard CHI
7
13
0
1/2
2
0
-30
-18
-12
DET
Howard's 4-yard gain on second-and-3 was his longest run and only successful carry on the day. For what it's worth, he was stuffed just once. His one catch was a 2-yard gain on second-and-10.


Worst Running Back by DYAR (Rushing)
Rk
Player
Team
Runs
Rush
Yds
Rush
TD
Rec
Rec
Yds
Rec
TD
Total
DYAR
Rush
DYAR
Rec
DYAR
Opp
1.
Nick Chubb CLE
28
84
1
3/3
44
1
1
-36
37
CIN
Chubb had a good day receiving, but a lousy day rushing -- and yes, opponent adjustments played a big part in that, doubling his DYAR (which is bad when you're in negative numbers). Chubb did have a 27-yard gain and five other first downs, but only seven of his runs gained more than 4 yards, and he was just the third runner (joining Ezekiel Elliott and Leonard Fournette) this season to be stuffed eight times in a single game.


Five Best Wide Receivers and Tight Ends by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Corey Davis TEN
4
4
96
24.0
1
92
HOU
Davis' totals include 68 DYAR receiving, 24 DYAR rushing for his one carry for 39 yards. His four catches: 19-yard gain on second-and-8; 21-yard gain on first-and-10; 39-yard gain on second-and-8; 8-yard gain on second-and-10. He also drew a 33-yard DPI on first-and-10.
2.
Amari Cooper DAL
8
9
180
22.5
2
77
WAS
Only one of Cooper's catches failed to pick up a first down: a 4-yard gain on third-and-5 in the fourth quarter. But he converted each of his other third-down throws, including a 40-yard touchdown on third-and-2.
3.
Adam Thielen MIN
8
9
125
15.6
1
68
GB
Only one of Thielen's catches failed to produce a first down: a 2-yard gain on second-and-20. He converted all three of his third-down targets.
4.
Tyler Lockett SEA
5
5
107
21.4
1
59
CAR
Lockett's totals include 65 DYAR receiving, -6 DYAR rushing for his one carry for a 2-yard loss. His five catches: 12-yard gain on first-and-10; 27-yard gain on third-and-4; 12-yard touchdown on third-and-9; 13-yard gain on first-and-10; 43-yard gain on third-and-5.
5.
Keenan Allen LAC
7
7
72
10.3
1
56
ARI
Each of Allen's catches gained at least 4 yards and counted as a successful play, five gained first downs, and one was a 4-yard touchdown. His longest gain was a 20-yard catch on third-and-2.


Worst Wide Receiver or Tight End by DYAR
Rk
Player
Team
Rec
Att
Yds
Avg
TD
Total
DYAR
Opp
1.
Marcell Ateman OAK
3
10
16
5.3
0
-45
BAL
Ateman's only successful catch was an 11-yard gain on third-and-10. His four other third-down targets were all incomplete. His other catches were a 3-yard gain on first-and-10 and a 2-yard gain on second-and-10.

Comments

51 comments, Last at 28 Nov 2018, 7:31pm

1 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Bobman // Nov 27, 2018 - 4:12am

Okay, I've been quiet long enough. What the hell is the deal with QBs this year? It's like 2004 all over again when a handful of guys have career years. Only this year, it's pretty much everybody whose last name doesn't rhyme with chortles. Or Tar, Or Toyota... Sneeterman? oh hell, you get the idea.

In isolated instances, you can rationalize. Luck finally has an OL for protection. Mahomes really is that good. Uh, Watson really is that good and he half-proved it last year. Phil Rivers has always been HOF caliber, but now he has... a quiet home stadium where too much cheering and applause won't distract him.

But across the board, we really seem to have a tsunami of freakish QB shenanigans going on. And I demand answers!
Or, well, really, just curious I guess.

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7 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 27, 2018 - 9:31am

The other exception: "Names starting with 'Josh'"

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40 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by leviramsey // Nov 27, 2018 - 5:58pm

Well, Josh Allen is trivially having a career year.

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2 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Jerry // Nov 27, 2018 - 7:13am

Proofreading:

"now what he did against the Cardinals." not
Blount: "doubled do to playing the Bears" due

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3 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Nov 27, 2018 - 8:32am

What was inflicted on Chase Daniel was unspeakable!

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36 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by BJR // Nov 27, 2018 - 4:59pm

Hey! Chase had to take the field at some time. So he took a few hits, but got back up, showing the moxie that everybody loves to see in their backup QB. And he got the W. Should be good enough for another 5 years of 7 figure paychecks!

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37 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Sixknots // Nov 27, 2018 - 5:12pm

"Should be good enough for another 5 years of 7 figure paychecks!"

Well, he's gonna need them. He is now down to around only $200,000 per pass attempt!

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39 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Nov 27, 2018 - 5:33pm

THE HORROR!

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42 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by tuluse // Nov 27, 2018 - 9:32pm

He needs to contact his union rep asap

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4 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by panthersnbraves // Nov 27, 2018 - 8:34am

How does Christian McCaffrey get > 100 yards Rushing and Receiving (1 TD each) against the #10 Defense, but not crack the top 5 RB?

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5 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Mike B. In Va // Nov 27, 2018 - 8:43am

Didn't he fumble once?

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6 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Ben // Nov 27, 2018 - 8:54am

I thought he fumbled several times. It’s just that Carolina recovered them all. I think DYAR just cares about the fumbles though, regardless of who recovers.

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12 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Eddo // Nov 27, 2018 - 10:20am

He fumbled THREE times! That's a lot! That's only happened seven times since 2000.

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13 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Travis // Nov 27, 2018 - 10:35am

I don't think PFR's fumble database extends back to 2000 - that list is missing Tiki Barber's 3-fumble game against the Eagles in 2002, among others.

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21 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by InTheBoilerRoom // Nov 27, 2018 - 1:25pm

I'm pretty sure one of those would not have been a fumble if it had been reviewed, but since Carolina recovered it, there was no reason to review it.

Edit: And on that note, how does FO treat such a fumble? If film review would determine that it wasn't actually a fumble, but overturning the ruling would have had no impact on the result of the play, therefore no review and the fumble gets entered into the box score, does FO eventually adjust the numbers or just stick with the box score data?

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8 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 27, 2018 - 9:31am

I told you Denver was better off passing than running. DVOA is clear -- there is no purpose to rushing.

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10 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by deus01 // Nov 27, 2018 - 9:46am

Not quite sure how you arrived at that. Lindsay has 2.7 DYAR per rush and Keenum has 2.7 DYAR per attempt.

Additionally the threat of rushing seems to open up a lot of options. The Rams seem to use this quite effectively and Denver would probably be better off both rushing more and incorporating more play action.

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11 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 27, 2018 - 10:15am

All else equal, it's easier to get 2.7 DYAR/play on 12 attempts than on 28.

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9 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Nov 27, 2018 - 9:46am

Mariota, after the long td early, had the most insignificant 95%-plus, 300 yard game imaginable, and not because the Texans had such a huge lead. It just never felt as if the Titans were doing anything offensively which would result in them getting the lead back.

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16 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by thehartley // Nov 27, 2018 - 11:18am

It felt like the Titans were trying to chew up clock on their drives, knowing the defense couldn't stop the Houston offense.

But then they didn't score, and it was obvious fairly quickly a comeback wasn't happening.

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27 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by ChrisS // Nov 27, 2018 - 2:03pm

Yeah I was really surprised to see him up so far on this table, he looked mediocre at best watching the game. Before the final drive with less than 2 minutes remaining and down by 17 he only had 239 yards and 61 of those yards came on a 2 yard pass to the TE.

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34 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by BJR // Nov 27, 2018 - 4:46pm

You could argue that the Tennessee passing game was as good as it possibly could given their offensive line was mostly overwhelmed. They ought to have abandoned the run completely, but beyond that the offense functioned pretty well, given they really couldn't block at all.

The real story of the game was ineffectual, and often flat-out terrible secondary play by the Titans, which seems to be an increasing theme in a lot of NFL games I watch.

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43 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Mountain Time ---- formerly Ninjalectual // Nov 28, 2018 - 7:57am

What other examples are you thinking of?

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14 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by andrew // Nov 27, 2018 - 10:41am

How hard would it be to add YAR as a column to these? I think it would help answer and forestall a lot of questions...

Also, are opponent adjustments a per play adjustment or is it applied to the finish total? i.e., if two running backs play the same team and are same except volume... (e.g., running back A has 5 attempts all on 1st and 10 and gains 4 yards each carry for 40 yds, all with the score tied, and running back b has 10 attempts all on 1st and 10 and gains 4 yards each carry for 80 yds)... obviously B will have a higher YAR... but will he also have a bigger opponent adjustment (good or bad)?

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26 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by ChrisS // Nov 27, 2018 - 1:59pm

Yes please. If adding a column is too much bother, then perhaps making the DYAR column into DYAR/YAR is easily doable

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15 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by thehartley // Nov 27, 2018 - 11:08am

After watching him absolutely shred the Titans defense last night, I'm surprised Lamar Miller didn't make the top 5 rushing DYAR.

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17 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Noah Arkadia // Nov 27, 2018 - 11:25am

For a guy who thinks so highly of himself, like Hue Jackson, it's gotta burn how well Mayfield's been doing since he left, especially after the tirade about how much he was doing with so little after he got fired.

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18 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by serutan // Nov 27, 2018 - 11:45am

What is really surprising is that Hue hasn't given himself credit for building up Mayfield and then unfairly getting fired before Mayfield started to blossom.

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28 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by andrew // Nov 27, 2018 - 2:04pm

Hue is not yet in Jeff Fisher's league, who orchestrated the Rams' offensive renaissance after his work there was done.

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19 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano // Nov 27, 2018 - 12:40pm

Guys who unjustifiably think very highly of themselves develop an amazing ability to ignore evidence to the contrary. I would bet that Hue has rationalized away the fact that Mayfield is performing much better since he was fired.

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49 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by OldFox // Nov 28, 2018 - 2:50pm

I've been visiting this site for years and years, and I believe this is the first time I've ever seen a Browns' QB listed at #1 for that week's performance. Which tells you something about the Browns' QB woes, I guess. But you probably already knew it.

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20 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Will Allen // Nov 27, 2018 - 1:02pm

Stafford is on pace to have one of his worst seasons, despite having the same offensive coordinator. My impression, perhaps wrong, is that the blocking has not significantly declined. What is the issue? He's just playing worse? Patricia is so bad that his toxins filter through Jim Bob? I haven't watched them enough to have a hunch.

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22 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 27, 2018 - 1:33pm

They also traded his best receiver away, his #2 is hurt, and Kerryon Johnson has been day-to-day for weeks.

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30 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano // Nov 27, 2018 - 2:10pm

It may also be fair to wonder if they've missed Eric Ebron more than they'd care to admit. Even when he was dropping passes, he still stretched the field far more effectively than Michael Roberts and Luke Willson.

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31 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by ChrisS // Nov 27, 2018 - 2:17pm

As much as I was un-impressed with Ebron I think losing him hurts Staffords game. As inefficient as Ebron was it seems that his targets are going to the RB's and they have been more ineffective than Ebron was. When you replace an average-ish TE with dreck you get worse passing.

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45 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Lost Ti-Cats Fan // Nov 28, 2018 - 11:22am

See badly injured Gronk lined up for Pats versus no Gronk in lineup.

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29 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by JoeyHarringtonsPiano // Nov 27, 2018 - 2:04pm

You're right, it's not the blocking. In fact, this is the best Lions offensive line since 2013 (would be the best since the 1990's if TJ Lang weren't injured).

It's also worth mentioning that Marvin Jones has been injured the past 2 games, and Golden Tate has been gone the past 3. The 2nd and 3rd receiver are a street free agent (Bruce Ellington) and a career backup (TJ Jones).

So what's the problem? Is it Jim Bob, or Stafford?

Stafford is not playing well, no doubt about that. Not seeing the field well, not handling pressure well (he has either bailed on clean pockets or run himself into sacks many times), and far too many episodes of mis-diagnosing coverage. And I say this as an ardent Stafford defender for years.

Jim Bob does deserve some blame, though. His offense is way too simple for today's NFL. Very little motion, very little or simplistic route combinations. His philosophy seems to be "we'll execute our offense so well that you can't stop it even if you know what's coming". This works fine against overmatched defenses, but they this offense has always struggled mightily against good opponents. Also, his offense is very reliant on YAC, so of course they traded away one of the best YAC receivers in the game today. The Lions are near the bottom of the league in air yards per attempt (ahead of only the Raiders, I believe....not a good place to be in any stat).

My verdict is a little from column A, a little from column B. Moving on from Stafford after this year (leaving aside for the moment whether it's the right decision or not) is not feasible given his cap number. I suspect that whether Cooter deserves the Lions share of the blame or not, he will be gone before Stafford is. I actually would be curious to see how Stafford does in a more innovative offense.

After 2020, Stafford's dead money hit would be a manageable 10 million. That would be just before his age 33 season, which for a non-elite quarterback, is the perfect time to get out. Things will start to look ugly once his physical skills start declining (I predict he'll look a lot like late-career Drew Bledsoe).

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23 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Ambientdonkey // Nov 27, 2018 - 1:48pm

I need help with that ESPN graphic. How did Rivers throw for 259 yards on 29 attempts with an average air distance of 17.3? The math seems real far off.

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24 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by dmstorm22 // Nov 27, 2018 - 1:57pm

Is 'Air Distance' different than 'Air Yards', whereby Air Distance is the literal distance the ball traveled in the air (so it would count the yards behind the LOS that Rivers was, and also potentially the 'as the bird flies' distance and not just the vertical distance)

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25 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Andrew Potter // Nov 27, 2018 - 1:58pm

Air Distance is not the same as Air Yards. Air Distance is literally the distance the ball travels in the air from the quarterback's hand to the receiver.

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48 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by dbostedo // Nov 28, 2018 - 1:57pm

So a short yardage throw straight across the field could have an Air Yards of 5 yards, and an Air Distance of 20 (or 30 or 50) yards?

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32 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by big10freak // Nov 27, 2018 - 3:27pm

Rodgers has been sacked 20 times on third down this season.

12 has been a great player but this is easily his worst season in terms of opportunities lost. Just against MN he missed multiple throws that could have extended drives and/or been scoring plays. And this has been happening since game 2. It's like game 1 drained him of the ability to consistently execute and now he's regularly 'just missing'.

Only discussing Rodgers given that this forum focuses on offense. The Packers have many other issues.

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33 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Aaron Brooks Good Twin // Nov 27, 2018 - 4:38pm

http://pfref.com/tiny/gUYdT

If you want to play around with it some.

Rodgers has the highest Y/A on 3rd down passes of any QB this season.

So he seems to be playing for high yards (and he's decent at it) and avoiding turnovers. The consequence is a lot of sacks and a high number of incompletions. Mariotta has the same inclination, but trades some completions for more INTs.

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38 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Eddo // Nov 27, 2018 - 5:32pm

Cool, thanks for the link.

Of the 34 QBs with 30 or more attempts on third down, Rodgers is first in yards per completion, but only 19th in first downs(*) per completion. That seems to support your theory even more, that he's getting big plays or basically nothing.

(*) P-F-R lists firsts down and touchdowns separately; I've added the two together in this case.

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35 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by theslothook // Nov 27, 2018 - 4:55pm

Sacks and weird incompletions have always been a hole in his game( he'd be close to a flawless QB otherwise), but this season they have manifested so much more.

Ad nauseum, this has been a steady decline for a while now. It seems unfair to make MM the fall guy, but again, might be a good time to shake things up.

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41 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by Vincent Verhei // Nov 27, 2018 - 8:14pm

But across the board, we really seem to have a tsunami of freakish QB shenanigans going on. And I demand answers!
Or, well, really, just curious I guess.

I don't want to sound like a jerk, but … we're past Thanksgiving, and you just now noticed this?

Proofreading:

"now what he did against the Cardinals." not
Blount: "doubled do to playing the Bears" due

Thank you. Fixed.

How does Christian McCaffrey get > 100 yards Rushing and Receiving (1 TD each) against the #10 Defense, but not crack the top 5 RB?

He was 19th with 17 total DYAR. Actually had negative rushing DYAR, only slightly due to opponent adjustments (which took him from 3 to -3). As others have noted, he had three fumbles, which is a TON for a running back. He's the only running back with three fumbles in a game this year. Only eight running backs have that many fumbles this entire SEASON, and nobody has more than four. Also, McCaffrey was explosive, but erratic. His success rate on 17 carries was just 53 percent (good but nothing special for a single game) and he is dinged for failures to convert on five carries with 5 yards or less to go for a first down.

Edit: And on that note, how does FO treat such a fumble? If film review would determine that it wasn't actually a fumble, but overturning the ruling would have had no impact on the result of the play, therefore no review and the fumble gets entered into the box score, does FO eventually adjust the numbers or just stick with the box score data?

We go with the play-by-play. I can't imagine a world where we'll have time to go over every play looking for challenge flags that COULD have been thrown.

Also, are opponent adjustments a per play adjustment or is it applied to the finish total? i.e., if two running backs play the same team and are same except volume... (e.g., running back A has 5 attempts all on 1st and 10 and gains 4 yards each carry for 40 yds, all with the score tied, and running back b has 10 attempts all on 1st and 10 and gains 4 yards each carry for 80 yds)... obviously B will have a higher YAR... but will he also have a bigger opponent adjustment (good or bad)?

They are calculated for each carry (or pass, or target) and then totaled at the end. So yes, if two runners have the same results against the same defense, but Runner A has twice as many carries as Runner B, then Runner A's opponent adjustments will be twice as strong.

Yes please. If adding a column is too much bother, then perhaps making the DYAR column into DYAR/YAR is easily doable

That's not likely to happen -- if anything, we get more requests to make our page more readable on tablets and phones, and cramming data into columns is a good way to make that not happen.

After watching him absolutely shred the Titans defense last night, I'm surprised Lamar Miller didn't make the top 5 rushing DYAR.

Just missed the table at sixth place. It was quite a boom or bust night. His four good carries each gained 12 yards or more, a total of 145 yards, and an average of 36.3. His other eight carries all gained 4 yards or less, a total of 17 yards, and an average of 2.1.

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44 Re: your last comment of many

by Joseph // Nov 28, 2018 - 11:19am

Vince, I will request again that maybe for the RB & WR tables that everyone w/ over 25 (or 30, or whatever) DYAR be included, with a top 5 minimum. I know that sometimes for playoff weeks the pickings get pretty slim, and there are some weeks where 6 or 7 guys have great games. I'm sure that it would create a little more work for you, but I think it would help some of us who wonder how our team's player who had a great game didn't make the table. Most of those times, he is at 6th or 7th, just a smidge behind b/c of something like you mention with Lamar Miller.

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50 Re: your last comment of many

by Vincent Verhei // Nov 28, 2018 - 5:58pm

If we listed 10, people would want 11. If we listed 20, they'd want 21. Honestly, it's easier to address specific players in the comments thread.

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51 Re: your last comment of many

by Joseph // Nov 28, 2018 - 7:31pm

Oh, I agree with that. That's why I wondered about a specific level of DYAR vs. a top-10 or something. That way, when there really isn't another good performer, top-5 is fine.

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47 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by InTheBoilerRoom // Nov 28, 2018 - 11:33am

"We go with the play-by-play. I can't imagine a world where we'll have time to go over every play looking for challenge flags that COULD have been thrown."

Thanks for the response. I totally understand that this isn't something you would do after every week, but I know there is some level of game charting that is done (enough to determine things like expected interceptions, for example), so I was curious if those are even documented in the game charting.

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46 Re: Week 12 Quick Reads

by tuluse // Nov 28, 2018 - 11:26am

So Jordon Howard has been the least valuable on at least 2 weeks and doesn't have a fumble in either of those weeks. That has to be a rare occurrence.

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